Things were looking grim for Portland State through two quarters Saturday. The Vikings owned only a narrow 13-16 lead over winless Idaho State, were plagued by a flurry of missed tackles and starting quarterback Dew Hubel had already thrown two interceptions and lost a fumble.
Things were looking grim for Portland State through two quarters Saturday.
The Vikings owned only a narrow 13-16 lead over winless Idaho State, were plagued by a flurry of missed tackles and starting quarterback Dew Hubel had already thrown two interceptions and lost a fumble.
Then the second half began and everything changed.
“Everyone was mad at halftime,” head coach Jerry Glanville said. “We really weren’t hitting them.”
Well, the Vikings not only started to play like a team that was a bit mad once the third quarter kicked off, they also started to play like a team that was craving a victory.
Contrary to its first-half performance, Portland State held the Bengals to only 22 rushing yards in the second half, committed zero turnovers and stonewalled Idaho State on every drive en route to a 36-13 victory.
“We threw out the whole game plan and went with something completely different,” senior linebacker Andy Schantz said of the second half.
And the results of the Vikings’ wholesale changes were felt on both sides of the ball.
Hubel bounced back after his tumultuous first half, finishing with 474 yards through the air and three touchdowns, which landed him high praise from both Glanville and offensive coordinator Mouse Davis.
Hubel’s favorite targets on the day were receivers Raymond Fry III and Aaron Woods. Fry caught six passes for 164 yards and a touchdown while Woods pulled in a half dozen passes for 110 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.
After the game, Hubel threw out some praise of his own, lauding the Portland State offensive line.
“Great protection today,” said Hubel, who was sacked only twice. “It was a complete turnaround from Northern Arizona.”
On defense, Schantz shined brightest, amassing a career-high 16 tackles, two tackles for a loss and one interception.
“This is probably the first game since Washington State that I’ve felt 100 percent,” Schantz said after the game.
The rest of the Portland State defense was not too shabby either. Senior cornerback Reggie Jones demanded some of the spotlight when he picked off a pass from Idaho State quarterback Russell Hill and returned the ball 33 yards for a touchdown.
Schantz said the Vikings employed a quintessential “bent but don’t break” defensive attack Saturday, giving up 383 yards to the Bengals but stopping them when it mattered most. This approach paid dividends as Portland State allowed only one touchdown, which came on the Bengals’ first drive of the game.
Glanville and Schantz credit in-game adjustments as the key to the Vikings’ success on defense in the second half, however, during post-game interviews neither wanted to take credit for devising the changes that led to victory.
Glanville said Schantz was the one making the calls on the field, and the senior middle linebacker claimed it was the head coach who was synthesizing all of the players comments into an effective game plan.
Either way, it worked.
Notes: With the win Portland State improves to 3-0 at home and 3-4 overall, and will prepare to take on Weber State in Ogden, Utah next Saturday…Senior cornerback Stanley Jackson suffered what Glanville called a “dislocated knee” in the fourth quarter when he collided with safety Chris Assily on a tackle. Stanley was taken to a hospital where he will have an MRI.